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Woman named to highest post open to laity in Diocese of Orange, CA

Courtesy of Pia de Solenni
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Pia de Solenni tapped to be chancellor

Theologian Pia de Solenni has been named by Bishop Kevin Vann of Orange, CA, as the chancellor of the diocese.

A chancellor has the mission of supporting the organizational and ministerial efforts of the bishop, as a sort of right-hand (wo)man.

A statement from the diocese explained that De Solenni will be the “official archivist and secretary to the Curia.” As well, “at the request of the bishop, [she will] review and offer her observations concerning his writings and teachings, as well as her opinion regarding questions of doctrine or dogma affecting other areas of the Church’s work in the Diocese. In addition to the already existing team of leaders, Dr. de Solenni will assist the Bishop in promoting and guarding the integrity of the Catholic faith.”

De Solenni has a doctorate in sacred theology, summa cum laude, from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. She received the 2001 Award of the Pontifical Academies for her doctoral work, presented by St. John Paul II.

With extensive experience in the areas of women’s health, bioethics, the new feminism, Catholicism and culture, De Solenni is a sought-after expert on these subjects. Her work has appeared in many respected publications.

“Pia is an inspirational and well-respected theologian and has proven herself a thoughtful and humble leader within our Church,” said Bishop Vann. “We are blessed as a Diocese to benefit from her expertise, passion, and faith. I look forward to the many gifts that she will continue to bring to bear in service to the people of Orange.”

For her part, De Solenni described her new role as a “tremendous honor,” saying she is “very grateful to Bishop Vann for his confidence in me and for giving me this opportunity.”

Home to more than 1.3 million faithful believers, the Diocese of Orange is the 12th largest and one of the fastest growing in the nation.

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